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Prefered waist width for spring skiing?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Heading out for some spring skiing at Grand Targhee this weekend. I was looking over my quiver and debating on what ski to take. Got me wondering what others prefer in the mixed slush/hardpack you find in the spring. Hard in the shade and soft and slushing in the sun. Hmmm.....choices, 82mm big mountain, 75mm park, 72mm Freeride, 63mm slalom? Thoughts?
post #2 of 8
I agree with PhysicsMan, I like my 10EX's in the soft spring snow. they have a nice ablility to stay on top of the crud. I have a friend who last spring was on his X- Screams, when I was on my EX's, he said he wished he had a pair of skis with a wide waist. In the soft snow the wide waist is the way to go.
post #3 of 8
In spring condiions as described, I'd stipulate to the above and say that anything at or over a 70 mm waist is far superior and more fun than anything under a 70 mm waist.
post #4 of 8
I just had this talk with a Friend who is a PSIA level 3 Instrutor. Since he has to ski in every condition from the most sublime feather light Powder to The most rotten gloopy nasty, sticky crud. I listen to what he has to say. Here is what he said. He likes a ski of around 70mm for spring conditions But does think a wider ski can be a lot of fun in spring conditions. When useing a wider body ski Make sure that the base is structured and well waxed. Keep the ski on edge. Another useful tip is to follow the Sun Hit East faceing runs until The snow gets to warm then look for runs that have had less exposure to the Sun. Move around following The Sun. It's been vary warm and Sunny here in Utah I have been useing both my Atomic R:ex and K2 Modx if I were to take just one ski I would go with the R:ex you just never know, a nice spring storm could bring 24" of powder. Have fun at grand Targee!
post #5 of 8
Generally, I use my 184 10ex's in such conditions. If the snow is rotten to a foot or more, my 190 Explosivs look weird out of powder to most people, but do a fantastic job in deep slop, and are surprisingly tolerant of the harder portions of the mtn. In the other direction, if there is only a couple of inches of slush on top of a harder base, I use my 184 xp100's (123-68-106).

Just to head off any "ski caddy needed" comments, there are definite differences between these skis and how they handle in different conditions, so I have clear and pretty well established preferences. However, all of the above skis are quite usable in any of the conditions mentioned above, so I usually pull one out of the roof-top box in the AM and usually wind up not switching at all during a single day, or maybe only once as much of the mtn goes into shadow in the PM or the weather dramatically changes.

In terms of versatility, I find that my fatter skis tolerate variable conditions better than skinnier skis, so if there is any question, I'll usually err in the direction of going fatter.

I know the above (ie, fatter when its deeper/softer) isn't exactly rocket science, but maybe it will give you a bit of perspective.

Tom / PM

PS (in edit) - I just noticed you also mentioned 75 mm park skis and SL's. I have a pr of 173 Enemies, and while they are also versatile, I prefer them over the others only if just the top couple of inches are soft AND I know I'll be going slow, helping beginners, will be on narrow trails, etc. My 170 9.16's never see the light of day in these conditions.

[ March 13, 2003, 01:20 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response. Turned out my trip got bagged. We headed local where the river had turned to a river. I underestimated and went with a 68mm waist(115-68-100) Dynastar Snap (156) my wife uses and I borrow to short individuals. Figured I be chasing kids down the cat tracks.

Next day I overestimated. We went to another local place and it was slushy the first 100 feet but the top was rock hard and soon the rest of the hill turned hard also. Must have been slushy earlier as it was rock hard and lumpy. I went with the 168 Volkl V legend 105-75-97. Skis got a fairly hefty lift so it will carve but should have gone to something with more 'bite'

Looks like I need to Caddy up.

Just for reference, the four in question: Blizzard Titan 8.2 (120-82-103/174cm), Volkl V-legend (dim above, '02 model), Blizzard Sigma Kompressor 7.2Ti (110-72-95/175), Blizzard SLK (106-63-91/170, '02 model).

[ March 15, 2003, 02:08 PM: Message edited by: slambson ]
post #7 of 8
I wonder what your preferences would be for weight as well... a beefy ski like a Head Monster, or a lighter mid-fat like an R:9? That is, do you want to float over the slush or blast through it?
post #8 of 8
IMO, it depends on personal perference and age. I'm 48y/o I like the soft flex and gentle ride I get on my G3's or 10EX's as I'm blasting through the crud at mach speed. Some people like the feel of there GS ski as they're blasting through the crud at mach. My son enjoys his R11's at mach plus, but he's is 16y/o. My knees don't enjoy the hard ride of some skis. I used to be a GS kind of guy. As I got better, and yes, older I learned about Freeride skis, 70mm waist, what great skis. They do it all for must people. It's just a matter of personal perference as to which Freeride ski you like.
This year the spring snow is so deep here in New England I have not used my rock skis yet. Even they have a 70mm waist.

Unless your on a really wide ski you will cut through more then float. I doubt any of us have water skis for the snow.

I have one more weekend at Okemo, I'll decide in the morning which ski to ski as I look out my window at the hill.
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